2006 PISA: U.S. 15-Year-Olds Score Lower On Average Than International Peers in Science
The National Center for Education Statistics released the results of the 2006 Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) comparing the scores of U.S. 15-year-old students in science and mathematics literacy to the scores of their peers internationally in 2006. First implemented in 2000, PISA is sponsored by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), an intergovernmental agency of 30 member countries. For the 2006 study the focus was on science literacy. Students were assessed on three science competencies: identifying scientific issues; explaining phenomena scientifically; and using scientific evidence.
Fifty-seven education systems participated in PISA, including 30 OECD jurisdictions and 27 non-OECD jurisdictions. American students scored an average of 489 points, lower than the OCED average of 500 points.
Compared to all of the other 56 education systems in the study, the United States scored lower than 22 jurisdictions, not significantly different from 12, and higher than 22.
Compared to the 29 other OECD countries, the United States scored lower than 16 OECD countries, not significantly different from 8, and higher than 5.
Finland, with an average of 563 score points, is the highest-performing country on the PISA science assessment. Other high-scoring OECD countries include Canada, Japan, New Zealand. High-scoring non-OECD countries/economies include Hong Kong-China, Chinese Taipei, and Estonia.
In addition to the results on performance in science, the PISA study provides a wealth of information on equity in learning opportunities; student engagement in science; and school and system level factors.
2007 Amgen-NSTA Fellows and Associate Fellows Announced
National Science Teachers Association congratulates the 2007 Amgen-NSTA
Fellows and Associate Fellows as they begin their professional development
journey as the first cohort in the NSTA New Science Teacher Academy.
Selected from nearly a thousand applicants from across the country,
the 200 Amgen-NSTA Fellows and Associate Fellows will take part
in a year-long program of science-related activities and professional
For a list of
the 2007 Amgen-NSTA Fellows and Associate Fellows or to learn more
about the NSTA New Science Teachers Academy, please visit www.nsta.org/academy.
In April, the online application for the 2008-2009 fellows and associate
fellows will become available. A link to the application will be
posted on the site.
New York Times Reports Texas Science Education Official Forced to Resign Over Evolution
The director of science curriculum for the Texas Education Agency was forced to resign after forwarding an e-mail message on a talk about evolution and creationism last month. "Her departure, which has stirred dismay among science professionals since it became public last week, is a prelude to an expected battle early next year over rewriting the state's science education standards, which include the teaching of evolution," writes New York Times reporter Ralph Blumenthal.
Open Your Mind to the Potential of Technology
in the Secondary Science Classroom features innovative ideas
for teaching science with technology along with best-practice guidelines
and current research on its effectiveness in the classroom.
Ideal for skeptics
as well as early adopters, this book offers intriguing new concepts
for technology-based teach strategies to stimulate your thinking
while deepening your students’ engagement in science. For
more information or to order, visit www.nsta.org/secondarytechnology.
Teacher Leaders: Apply Now for a Leadership Position with NSTA
qualified candidates to serve a one-year term on the Preservice
Teacher Preparation Committee, one of several standing committees
of NSTA. Click
here for information and a nomination packet (PDF).
Give the Best Gift of All—the Gift of Membership in NSTA!
With the holidays approaching, now is the time to give the gift of resources that will help the science educators in your life be the best they can be—gift membership in NSTA. You can download a gift application.
gift of an NSTA membership is an investment in the professional
growth of your favorite science educator. Each membership includes
a subscription to one grade-specific journal and NSTA Reports,
a 20% discount on NSTA Press books, up to 40% off conference registrations,
award and professional development opportunities, and much more.
Each new member will receive an acknowledgment letter indicating
that his or her membership was a gift from you. Click
here for more information, and happy holidays!
Very Chilly Special from PBS
From refrigeration to MRIs, the study of cold has transformed modern
life. NOVA invites you on a journey through time from the first
alchemists who tried to manufacture cold to the modern-era Nobel
Laureates who strived to reach its ultimate destination.
Zero, a two-part PBS special based on Tom Shachtman’s
acclaimed book Absolute Zero and the Conquest of Cold,
is a unique blend of science, cultural history, and adventure story.
The programs explore key concepts, significant individuals and events
in the field of low-temperature physics, and the enormous impact
that the mastery of cold has had on civilization. Absolute Zero
premieres on NOVA January 8 and 15 at 8:00 pm (check your
State University's NTEN Courses Teach Hands-on Learning
Can an online course
be hands-on? You bet! Take a six-week online course through the
National Teachers Enhancement Network (NTEN) and experience an activity-rich
course that models how to teach science inquiry. Spring registration
is now open.
for K-8 teachers, "The Dirt on Soil Science" and "The
Science of Sound" include kits of hands-on materials so that
all classmates can do and talk about the same experiments in these
Each K-8 course
offers one graduate credit delivered via a flexible and supportive
online environment from Montana State University, one of the country's
top 100 research universities. NSTA members receive a 10%
courses in six disciplines including astronomy, environmental science,
microbiology, physics, soil science, and water quality. View
all of our K–12 online courses.